WMPD makes 50 arrests over weekend
State, county cops join city police in crackdown
Bail bondsmen enjoyed a business bonanza after police efforts in West Memphis over the weekend.
Judge Fred Thorne said he had cleaned out the jail on Friday but had 50 new faces to greet in Monday morning court, 35 of those via video link from the Crittenden County Detention Center. At least four of those in court Monday were from Memphis.
The jail roster bulged to 40 more than usual on Monday morning according to Crittenden County Sheriff Mike Allen.
West Memphis Assistant Chief Robert Langston outlined the patrol efforts from the weekend.
“We did patrol more than usual with 10 to 12 more units on the street,” said Langston. “We tried to make it seem like the city was on lock down after the recent outbreak of violence.”
The normal patrol shift for the city runs with about seven units. Sheriff Allen told the Quorum Court Tuesday that State Troopers and Sheriff Deputies augmented patrols in the city.
“I determined it was a critical incident level two as outlined in our policies and authorized our department patrols in West Memphis,” said Allen.
“Something had to be done to take back control of the city after four murders inside a week.”
Allen said it was all part of a new era of inter-agency cooperation. The CCSO, Marion and West Mem- phis joined by some state corrections to do parole checks in the cities and around the county that resulted in arrests of violators. The ATF was helping with the triple homicide in Earle. West Memphis has worked federal law enforcement agencies to bring stiffer jail time for gun violence and serious drug cases.
Allen went on to ask the Quorum Court for permission to pay overtime patrol officers in emergency situations. He offered a no cost solution by using funds allotted to jailers.
After recapping, Allen pointed to the funds to make helping other agencies in the county possible.
“We are chronically understaffed at the jail,” said Allen we could use the money allotted there.”
The quorum court unanimously approved the sheriff request to help cities in the county in times of emergency.
Two murder suspects, Raheem Stackhouse and Reginald Smith in the Second Chance Auto night club shooting turned themselves in over the weekend as well but Langston said that was unrelated to the beefed up patrols.
“We had been putting sufficient pressure on their family and acquaintances where they finally turned themselves in,” said Langston.
Three 2019 murder investigations remained open and ongoing in West Memphis according to the chief.
Mayor Marco McClendon talked via Facebook Saturday morning about the joint law enforcement effort on Friday night.
“We are going to fight like hell to take our city back,” said McClendon. Our unified law enforcement agencies enforced zero tolerance. As Mayor of West Memphis, this will continue under my watch.”
The mayor took the violent crime wave personally. “I don’t know if the citizens are under the impression that because I’m a young mayor I would be cool with this, but no, I am not,” said McClendon.